The Underdown Family Foundation

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The Underdown Family Foundation is a private, family foundation that was established in 1993 by Joanne and Parks C. Underdown, Jr.  The Foundation exists to provide funds to nonprofit organizations that enrich and support the greater community of Hickory, NC.

The Underdown Family Foundation partners with nonprofit organizations to help address community needs.  In general, the Foundation prefers to focus its giving on education, health and human services and faith based organizations.  The Foundation looks for organizations to maximize the Hickory, NC community and the individuals they serve.  On a regional or national level, the Foundation also seeks to support research for important diseases and causes. 

Application deadlines

April 30

Program areas

Human services
Public/society benefit

States served

North Carolina

Geographic limitations

Hickory, North Carolina


  • To be eligible, organizations must qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Applications must be submitted through the online grant application form or alternative accessible application designed for assistive technology users.

Grantmaking priorities

Preference may be given to requests for the following:

  • Education
  • Religious/Faith-based work
  • Health and Human services

Application period and deadlines

Applications are accepted year-round.  Applications must be submitted by April 30 to be reviewed at the grant meeting that occurs in the summer.


Applicants will receive an automated email confirming their submission.  Grant decisions are generally communicated by the fall of each year for applications received by the deadline.

Required agreements and reports

Periodic progress reports and final reports may be required for funded projects.

About the Foundation

Parks C. Underdown, Sr. founded Hickory Springs Manufacturing in 1944 to produce seating and coil springs for the furniture and bedding industry.  Now HSM, the company has evolved into a global manufacturer of components for diversified markets including transportation, packaging, healthcare, and government.

In 1993, Parks C. Underdown, Jr. began the Underdown Family Foundation, which strives to support religious or faith-based work, educational organizations, and health and human services.  Today the 2nd and 3rd generations of the Underdown family continue the Foundation’s work to fund these charitable causes, primarily for the benefit of the Hickory, North Carolina community.